Windows 8 isn’t very far in our past, but the tech industry is already abuzz about the next big Microsoft release. Although it’s only rumors at this point, it appears Windows Blue will be the next major operating system released by Microsoft.
And if these rumors are true, then Windows Blue will change the way the world thinks about Windows. Here are some of the features that Microsoft has apparently planned for Windows Blue:
Windows Blue Features
-A cheaper price: Apple charges $20 to $25 for every update to its Mac OS. Since Microsoft appears to be emulating Apple’s most successful features, Windows Blue would theoretically offer a similar pricing plan. We all appreciate paying less money for the same product.
-Major updates to the OS throughout the year (like Mac OS, Android, iOS, and other major operating systems made by Microsoft competitors): Even the biggest Microsoft fan will admit upgrading to a new operating system can be a jolting experience. You have to update drivers, find new versions of the programs you installed, and basically build your PC from scratch. With Windows Blue, Microsoft plans to offer regular updates throughout the year. This might seem unfamiliar to Microsoft fans, but it should reduce the big ‘jump’ consumers have to make every time Microsoft updates to a new version of Windows. Instead of having to retrain employees and upgrade all your programs, Windows Blue aims to simplify the upgrading process on a level that we’ve never seen before.
-Similar programming architecture for Windows tablets, Windows phones, and PCs (i.e. a standardized SDK): This would encourage app development and program development on the OS. One of the biggest problems facing Windows 8 has been attracting app developers. There is so much money to be made in Android and iOS development that all the good app developers can’t be bothered to invest in developing a Windows app. Microsoft pays higher royalty rates than Google or Apple, but it’s still having trouble populating its app store. If it can unify the SDK more tightly across its existing properties – like Xbox, Windows Phone, and PCs – then the potential number of users downloading apps from the Windows Store will dramatically increase, which means more money for programmers.
What does all this mean for you, the average Windows user?
Windows Blue will change the face of Windows – if it actually exists. The frequent updates will keep Microsoft at the cutting edge of technology and prevent users from feeling alienated every time a new OS comes out (after all, how many people have actually bothered to upgrade to Windows 8 yet?).
The biggest challenge facing Windows Blue will be its marketing. Microsoft will need to convince users – many of whom just upgraded to a new OS called Windows 8 – that they should invest in the Windows Blue subscription idea. If Microsoft can nail its marketing, which won’t be easy, then Windows Blue could catch on due to its:
-More frequent upgrades
-More useful apps
-Better cross-platform capabilities
-Less fragmentation across operating systems
If Windows Blue doesn’t work out, then Microsoft could look pretty silly.